VALHALLA, N.Y. -- Valhalla High School's Peer Leadership Club recently donated $2,000 to the Maria Ferari Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.
Recent Valhalla High School graduates, Carmine DiPalma, Amanda Amiano, Siera Nezaj, Kyleigh Abraham and Joe Cho, visited Westchester Medical Center's Regional Trauma Center to present a check.
The money was raised at the Peer Leaderhip Club's May 20 walk-a-thon. The event raised money for traumatic brain injury victims.
Approximately 100 Valhalla community members walked or ran a 5K in support, according to a release from the Valhalla Union Free School District.
“We’re taking the push on brain injuries,” said teacher Stacey Gagliardi, a Peer Leadership Club advisor alongside teacher Charlene Bosco. “This is where our hearts are. People who suffer from this really need to learn how to be independent again. We want to do what we can to help.”
Karen Asch, the center's manager of annual giving, met with the students and thanked them for their generosity and kindness.
“We have a close-knit community of people who wanted to be involved,” said DiPalma. “People around here know others who have been affected by brain trauma, so we all want to help.”
Throughout the year, the Peer Leadership Club, composed of juniors and seniors, helps ease the transition of incoming freshmen to make them feel included and their experiences less challenging, said Amiano.
“We want to turn the walk-a-thon into an annual event,”Nezaj said. “As the current Peer Leadership officers are graduating soon, we want to leave our footprint on Valhalla. This will become a yearly tradition.”